A Word from Cheryl:

Thank you for visiting my Concert Review Blog. I have enjoyed attending, photographing and writing about a variety of concerts over the past several years. I hope that my reviews and photos have made you feel like you were right there with me.

At this time in my life I've taken a step back, looked at what’s truly important and have begun to prioritize my time, energy and resources.

I retired from nursing in 2012 and was then able to be with my aging father, who later passed away in June, 2013.

My family is growing dramatically! We now have eight grandchildren and I take every opportunity to be available to help when needed. I also make sure I carve out plenty of time for my husband so that he knows how important he is to me.

Because of this I don't attend many concerts anymore. I try to be selective in choosing a show and do my best to relax and enjoy the experience. I no longer stress about getting the perfect photo or remembering some occurrence so I can write about it.

If you want to view a collection of some of my favorite photos from the past several years you may find them here:
Cheryl's Pearls Photos - Concerts

Thanks again for visiting my site.

May God Bless,

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lady Antebellum in Salem, VA - November 14, 2008

I first saw Lady Antebellum in the summer of 2007 during CMA Fest in Nashville, TN.  There was a buzz about them even then.  They were known as “the group to watch.”  Lady Antebellum consists of two guys and a girl: singer Charles Kelley, brother to popular artist, Josh Kelley; singer/guitarist Dave Haywood; and singer Hillary Scott, daughter of country music artist Linda Davis.

I really enjoyed their performance so I purchased their CD when it came out.  Along with it came a free subscription to the Lady Antebellum Fan Club.  When I heard they were coming to the Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA with Jason Aldean November 14th I decided to pay a visit to my friend, Kristen, who lives in Salem and both of us went to the concert.

My Fan Club membership gave me 2 passes to meet Lady Antebellum, one for me and one for my friend.  I take photos for a radio station website and they obtained a couple of meet and greet passes for me as well.  This provided an opportunity for me to share my bounty with others.  How would I choose who to take with me?

I scanned the crowd and noticed a mother and daughter near the back of the Civic Center lost in conversation.  I approached them and asked who they were more excited to see, Jason Aldean or Lady Antebellum.  “We like them both,” they replied.

I asked if they had seen Lady Antebellum win the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year on TV earlier in the week.  “Oh yes! We were so excited for them” they exclaimed.  “Would you like to meet them?” I asked.  The little girl’s eyes got as big as saucers as the mother said, “Are you serious?”

“Come with me” I said as I lead them to the backstage area where we were all gathered to meet Lady Antebellum.  We chatted while we waited.  Lakyn is 10 years old and in the 5th grade.  She and her mom, Leesa had driven 2 hours from their home in Rocky Gap, VA to attend the concert.  They didn’t have a camera to take a photo with Lady Antebellum but I offered mine when the time came.

We lined up for our “moment” and out through the curtain came Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley.  Kristen and I went first then I introduced Leesa and Lakyn to “Lady A” as they are affectionately known to their fans.  They were very gracious and unhurried signing autographs and welcoming her to the show.  Lakyn was clearly star struck as she gazed up at them all.  Just before the photo was taken Lakyn almost fell through the temporary backdrop but Hillary caught her.  Afterwards Lakyn said, “I’m never washing my jacket again - Hillary touched it!” She was so excited.

The concert was extremely entertaining.  Lady Antebellum clearly deserves the recognition they’ve gotten recently.  With tight harmonies and a high energy performance, they take turns sharing the spotlight and have a rollicking good time on stage which is irresistible - you can’t help smiling and tapping to the beat.

When I got home I e-mailed Leesa and Lakyn their individual photo and received this in reply, “You don’t know how much your kindness touched us.  You made a little girl’s night.  Thank you so much and we wish you and your family a Happy Holiday Season.”

You know, watching that little girl’s eyes light up and sharing in her joy blessed my heart beyond measure.  It was the highlight of my evening so, no Leesa and Lakyn, thank YOU!

Published in the Star Exponent 11/28/08 - Making a Little Girls Dream Come True

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Reba and Kelly in Charlottesville - Oct. 30, 2008


Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson arrived in Charlottesville a day before all the trick-or-treaters came out for Halloween.  Their performance was certainly a “treat” for those of us fortunate enough to be at John Paul Jones Arena on Thursday, October 30th.

Both Reba and Kelly were complimentary of our fair state of Virginia with all the beautiful fall foliage.  Reba, age 53, hails from Oklahoma while Kelly, a mere 26 years old, claims the lone star state of Texas as home.

I remember watching the 2007 “CMT Crossroads” episode that paired 2002 American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson with country music legend Reba McEntire.  I was curious to see Reba singing some of Kelly’s songs and vice versa.  It turned out to be a great show and obviously they enjoyed working together because they created this tour called “2 Worlds, 2 Voices”.

It's amazing to me to see someone as well known and talented as Reba McEntire take a newcomer like Kelly Clarkson under her wing, teach her to "fly" and give her freedom to soar!   Reba is obviously very secure in who she is.  She’s willing to take risks and try something different by singing some of Kelly’s rock songs.  Reba isn’t one of those artists that have to have the limelight all the time.  She and Kelly take turns singing backup vocals for each other.

Kelly bounced across the sage in bare feet throughout the evening while Reba did her fair share of country music swing and line dance stepping.  They honestly looked as though they were having a blast on stage which in turn made it fun for the audience.

At one point Kelly gave a rather lengthy introduction to a song then just as they got ready to sing she realized the intro was meant for a different song.  She became flustered, looked at Reba and said, “Why didn’t you stop me?” to which Reba nonchalantly replied, “Aww, I figured you’d get there eventually…”   We all had a good laugh at Kelly’s expense before they launched into the next song.  Reba, ever the professional, remained unfazed and supportive. Kelly was embarrassed but sang flawlessly with a rather sheepish look on her face.   It was a truly funny moment that showed their humanity and the audience loved them for it!

Reba and Kelly have been gifted with power-house vocals and fantastic control.  It was delightful to listen to them sing individually and in duets together.   Their harmonies were wonderful and their enthusiasm contagious.

Published in the Star Exponent 11/6/08
Two Worlds, Two Voices Tour